E-commerce Shipping—Role, Challenges, and Optimisation

ecommerce shipping

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E-commerce shipping is the link between digital carts and satisfied customers. Timely shipping, efficient tracking, and reliable delivery options enhance customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and drive repeat business. 

Plus, effective shipping strategies help businesses:

  • Optimise inventory management
  • Reduce cart abandonment
  • And expand market reach

Having fast, reliable, and cost-effective shipping is crucial for any online seller. Without it, there’s no reliable business growth. After reading this blog, you’ll know how to optimise your e-commerce delivery and start saving money today.

The biggest challenges in e-commerce logistics

Order fulfilment

Managing inventory alone is no easy feat—you must constantly have enough products to sell while avoiding overstock.

In 2021, 75% of companies experienced product shortages due to supply chain disruptions. Last year, most businesses found themselves with excess inventory.

And order fulfilment includes shipping, too. Consumers expect increasingly short deliveries, with 53% abandoning the shopping process due to long waiting times.

Plus, to retain customers and turn a profit, the e-commerce delivery fees can’t be too high.

Shipping costs 

Big companies tend to invest loads of resources by building in-house systems. Systems that give them a strategic benefit (chance to offer lower shipping cost to the end-buyer) but are pricey to develop and hard to optimise. 

And smaller companies are at an unfair disadvantage. They’re left with a complex and time-consuming decision-making process to find a carrier with reasonable rates, reliable systems, and good coverage. And even then, a competitive delivery fee isn’t guaranteed.

Delayed or slow deliveries

Late deliveries upset customers and disrupt operations. 70% of shoppers are less likely to buy from a company that hasn’t delivered their order within 2 days of the promised date.

To avoid losing sales this way, businesses can use past and current data about shipping companies’ performance in different areas. 

The challenge is getting transparent, reliable, and relevant data on the carriers because there’s no standard (or obligation) to provide this information.

Product returns

Reverse logistics is an increasingly important area to pay attention to. Only about 10% of shoppers say they don’t typically return items they’ve bought.

Managing product returns involve:

  • Establishing transparent and user-friendly return policies to communicate the procedures, timeframes, and acceptable product conditions;
  • Assessing returned product’s condition and managing the flow of returned items to maintain inventory accuracy;
  • Processing refunds or exchanges promptly and accurately to uphold customer trust.

When handling returned goods, businesses must balance cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. And navigating these challenges successfully depends on having a well-defined process and streamlined workflow. 

Shipping software for e-commerce shipping optimisation

Aside from shipping software, what other options do businesses have? 

There are single and multiple-carrier approaches, in-house logistics, partnerships with fulfilment centres, and parcel lockers, to name a few.

All of these options share similarities—they’re inefficient, time-consuming, and often expensive. 

Opting for shipping software like Swotzy allows you to get the best-fit delivery option: cheapest, fastest, or most sustainable, depending on your priorities. With Swotzy, you’ll get the flexibility of an effective delivery network and competitive pricing.

On our platform, you’ll find different couriers and postal services, so you can compare and use them without signing contracts, integrating, or solving any other challenges in establishing a new partnership. 

Plus, you can start using our platform in less than 10 minutes. Create an account and see for yourself.

Ecommerce Growth

Global Ecommerce

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